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Seven Australian crews set to contest A-Finals at World Rowing Cup 2 on Sunday

Lightweight Men’s Quad in fierce A-Final, finish in fifth place

Live Stream available via World Rowing website

Australia will contest seven A-Finals tomorrow (Sunday) at World Rowing Cup 2 after four more crews qualified today (Saturday) in Linz, Austria. Meanwhile, Australia’s Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Scull fiercely contested their A-Final, to finish in fifth.

In cool and breezy conditions, James Kerr, Blaine Heseltine, Jack Kelly and Cameron Fowler were the only Australians in an A-Final today and they were in what was sure to be an exciting one featuring reigning World Champions Italy as well as Germany, Norway, Austria and Hungary.

At the halfway mark, Italy had a solid lead, with Germany in second and Australia pushing past home favourites, Austria, for third. As the crews pushed for the line, it was the sprint for the bronze medal between Australia, Austria and Norway that drew the most excitement, with Norway sprinting up the outside to take bronze over Australia by just 0.58 of a second.

The Australian Lightweight Men’s Quad sprint for the line alongside Austria and Norway (Copyright Rowing Australia)

The four Australian crews that booked themselves places in A-Finals were the Men’s Four, Women’s Single Scull and the Men’s and Women’s Quadruple Sculls; they will be joining the Men’s and Women’s Eights and the Women’s Four who had already secured their A-Finals on Friday.

“We’ve had some strong performances today and it is good to see the crews progressing through the regatta. They are executing their race plans; the next step is now to do this in the A-Finals.

“The Lightweight Men’s Quad raced hard today in a competitive final and we’re looking forward to some more good racing tomorrow from our Australian crews,” said Performance Director Bernard Savage.

Australia’s Quadruple Sculls showed their sprinting skills with some thrilling racing on the waters of Ottensheim.

The Women’s Quadruple Scull of Olympia Aldersey, Rowena Meredith, Caitlin Cronin and Genevieve Horton needed a top two finish in their repechage to book a place in tomorrow’s A-Final. Taking on Germany, Czech Republic, Great Britain and Romania, it was Germany who took the early lead, with Australia contesting a battle royale with Great Britain for the second semi-final spot.

As the Australians and British crossed into the final 500 metres, it was hard to call who would be taking second, with Germany still in the lead. A call from Cronin saw the Australians dig deep and, in the final 200 metres, the crew upped their rating to 42 strokes per minute, and cross the line 1.05 seconds ahead of the British and thus joined Germany in the A-Final.

Perhaps inspired by their female counterparts, Australia’s Men’s Quadruple Scull of Caleb Antill, Alexander Purnell, Luke Letcher and David Watts needed a top three finish in their semi-final to book a place in their A-Final. Poland jumped out quickest at the start, with Ukraine and the Netherlands in hot pursuit and Australia in fourth.

As the crews reached the halfway point, Australia were in fourth, but the crew began to creep its way through the field and overtook the Ukrainians and then the Dutch. With Great Britain, whom had won gold in World Rowing Cup 1, making a surge, Watts upped the crew’s stroke rate to 44/45 in the final 200 metres to ensure they crossed the line in second and booked a place in the A-Final.

Australia’s Men’s Four recorded the fastest qualifying time in yesterday’s heats and by the halfway mark, of their semi-final, the crew had broken free of its competition by a full boat length. Joshua Hicks, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargreaves and Alexander Hill crossed the line in a time of 5 minutes 52 seconds, the fastest of both semi-finals, and were followed by Great Britain and Germany in the A-Final.

Madeleine Edmunds found herself in a semi-final alongside 2017 World Champion, Switzerland’s Jeannine Gmelin and 2017 World Championships bronze medallist, Magdalena Lobnig of Austria. The Commercial Rowing Club athlete moved quickly out the start alongside the Swiss and Austrian scullers and made sure she stayed with the leading pack to secure her first A-Final of the season.

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull representatives, Alice Arch and Amy James had a competitive semi-final that included World Champions Romania, and the duo finished in fifth place. They will now compete in Sunday’s B-Final.

Hamish Parry started his morning in the semi-final of the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls. The Toowong Rowing Club athlete finished fourth, despite a strong sprint for the finish line and thus contested the afternoon’s B-Final where he finished fourth.

Finally, Campbell Watts wrapped up his racing at World Rowing Cup 2 by finishing second in the C-Final of the Men’s Single Sculls, while Georgia Miansarow and Georgia Nesbitt finished third in the C-Final of the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls.

Tomorrow will be the conclusion of World Rowing Cup 2, with seven Australian crews competing in A-Finals and one in a B-Final.

Crews and Race Times for Sunday 24 June at World Rowing Cup 2, Linz, Austria

B-Final, Lightweight Women’s Double Scull – 16:55 AET (08:55 local time)
Alice Arch and Amy James
Racing against: Germany, China 1, China 1, Great Britain 1, Great Britain 2

A-Final, Women’s Four – 18:33 AET (10:33 local time)
Lucy Stephan, Rosie Popa, Sarah Hawe and Molly Goodman
Racing against: Russia, Germany, Great Britain, China 1, Italy

A-Final, Men’s Four – 18:48 AET (10:48 local time)
Joshua Hicks, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargreaves and Alexander Hill
Racing against: Great Britain 2, Germany, Romania, Poland, Great Britain 1

A-Final, Women’s Quadruple Scull – 19:33 AET (11:33 local time)
Genevieve Horton, Caitlin Cronin, Rowena Meredith and Olympia Aldersey
Racing against: Poland, China 1, Netherlands, Ukraine, Germany

A-Final, Men’s Quadruple Scull – 19:48 AET (11:48 local time)
Caleb Antill, Alexander Purnell, Luke Letcher and David Watts
Racing against: New Zealand, Germany, Poland, Italy, Netherlands

A-Final, Men’s Eight – 20:03 AET (12:03 local time)
Liam Donald, Angus Widdicombe, Angus Moore, Simon Keenan, Nicholas Purnell, Timothy Masters, Joshua Booth, Robert Black and Kendall Brodie (coxswain)
Racing against: Netherlands 2, Germany, Netherlands 1, Great Britain, Italy

A-Final, Women’s Single Scull – 20:18 AET (12:18 local time)
Madeleine Edmunds
Racing against: Denmark, Great Britain 1, Switzerland, Germany, Austria 1

A-Final, Women’s Eight – 20:48 AET (12:48 local time)
Leah Saunders, Hannah Vermeersch, Addy Dunkley-Smith, Georgina Gotch, Georgina Rowe, Ciona Wilson, Jacinta Edmunds, Emma Fessey and James Rook (coxswain).
Racing against: China, New Zealand, Netherlands, Great Britain, Romania